Court allows PH to challenge RoS over registration delay

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DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai and PKR’s Saifuddin Abdullah flanked by Pakatan Harapan lawyers Gobind Singh and Haniff Khatri, outside the High Court today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today allowed Pakatan Harapan (PH) leave to challenge the Registrar of Societies (RoS) over the delay in registering the opposition coalition.

Lawyers for the opposition coalition Gobind Singh and Haniff Khatri Abdulla told reporters this after Justice Azizah Nawawi granted leave to apply for judicial review in chambers.

“We filed the judicial review to compel the RoS to respond to our registration and, alternatively, we want to compel them to register PH in line with our application.

“The court allowed us to challenge RoS and fixed March 15. We will ask for an early hearing date since the 14th general election (GE14) is around the corner,” Gobind said.

He added that the court decision after the full hearing was important to the opposition in preparing for GE14.

Gobind also said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) objected to their bid to obtain the court’s permission but that the court dismissed the objections.

Also present in court today were PH chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah, PPBM secretary-general Shahruddin Salleh, Amanah deputy secretary-general Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus, and DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai.

On Feb 21, PH filed an application for various orders against the RoS in a bid to compel the government agency to respond to PH regarding its registration application.

Gobind had previously said that when an application was filed, the applicant had a legitimate expectation that the RoS would consider their application and respond.

“We do not see any reason for the RoS to withhold the registration of PH.”

The action was filed jointly by Saifuddin, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, Ahmad Kerdee and Shahruddin.

The formation of PH was announced last year. It comprises PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM. The parties are planning to contest GE14 under a common banner.

Last month, the coalition named former prime minister and PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its prime ministerial candidate should they win federal power in GE14.

It was previously reported that at a meeting in November 2017, the RoS informed PH representatives of two problems pertaining to the registration application of PH.

One was that the RoS did not recognise the DAP central executive committee (CEC) and the other was that PPBM had not held its annual general meeting.

Gobind said subsequent to this, the DAP complied with the RoS’ requirements and the registrar had given it a letter saying the DAP CEC was now accepted. PPBM, for its part, had given a report on its AGM to the RoS and this had not been disputed.

PH’s challenge over its registration fixed for March 1